Convention on Biological Diversity

In addition to the agreements formed under the WTO, a large number of countries are signatories to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The objectives of the CBD are:[3]

Conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and to technologies, and by appropriate funding.

There are several aspects of the CBD that impact the exchange of animal genetic resources. These include the consideration that farm animal genetic resources are part of a country's natural resources and that states have sovereign rights over such resources, and thus the

Table 2

State of cryopreservation by species to facilitate germplasm exchange

Success of

Success of postthaw

Status of

postthaw utilization

Status of

utilization of

Species

cryopreserving semen

of cryopreserved semen

cryopreserving embryos

cryopreserved embryos

Cattle

Routine & efficient

Very high

Routine & efficient

High

Swine

Feasible

Low Moderate

Feasible

Very low

Sheep

Feasible

Low Moderate

Feasible

Moderate

Goat

Feasible

Moderate

Feasible

Moderate

Chicken

Feasible

Low

Not possible

Turkey

Not possible

Not possible

authority to determine access to genetic resources. Each contracting party shall endeavor to create conditions to facilitate access to genetic resources. A key element in the CBD is language aimed at sharing in a fair and equitable way the benefits arising from commercial and other utilization of genetic resources. It is unclear at this time the ramifications that the CBD will have on the exchange of animal genetic resources.

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